A CRIME-fighting charity is offering £1,000 to witnesses who can help bring criminals who use knives to justice.

Crimestoppers has launched the initiative to encourage residents to help identify thugs who carry weapons.

The campaign, launched specifically in Clacton, Basildon and Southend, is for anyone with information on knife crime but who feels unable to go to police directly.

They could be eligible to claim a cash reward of up to £1,000 if their information leads to a successful arrest and charge.

Det Insp Russ Cole, of Clacton Police, said: “Knife crime levels are low predominantly in Essex, but there has been an increase in some areas including Basildon, Southend and Tendring which are the focus of this campaign.

“There have been several high profile and tragic knife crime incidents in Essex over the past few years, which is why I fully support any campaign that seeks to save lives. We appreciate that not everyone is comfortable in contacting police about crime.

“We want to do everything possible to ensure that people living, working and visiting Essex have an avenue to give information if they wish”.

Ann Scott, Eastern Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said those who come forward will not be identified.

She added: “We want to hear from anyone who has information on a recent knife crime incident or about anyone who regularly carries a knife.

“By telling Crimestoppers nobody will know it was you and you could end up saving a life."

Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

The charity is also offering two rewards, each of £10,000, for information leading to the capture and conviction of those responsible for the murders of Jim Attfield and Nahid Al-Manea.

Jim, 33, of East Bay, was stabbed 102 times and killed on a path near Castle Park.

He was found shortly before 6am on Saturday, March 29.

Eight people have been arrested and are currently on bail including five on suspicion of murder.

Nobody has been charged.

Nahid, 31, of Woodrow Way, was stabbed 16 times on the Salary Brook Trail shortly before 10.40am on Tuesday, June 17.

Nobody has been charged.